A London-based Kiwi, whose controversial Maori cultural advice to British newspapers was branded an ``infantile prank'' in his home-country, is reportedly "quite upset" his comments were misconstrued.
Tredegar Hall was quoted in a number of UK media outlets saying Maori performers would be forced to cover up during the official welcome for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to avoid offending the royals when they arrived in New Zealand, and the couple would be given the protected kereru (native woodpigeon) as part of a traditional hangi.
His comments sparked headlines in both Britain and New Zealand. The remarks were rubbished by officials here, including Prime Minister John Key and Associate Maori Affairs Minister Chris Finlayson.
Mr Hall, who is a member of the Ngati Ranana cultural group in London, has not been answering phone calls to clarify his comments.
But a close friend from the club said he had been misquoted, according to 3News Europe correspondent Melissa Davies.
"He says that Hall is actually quite upset at how it all was reported because there were thoughts that perhaps this was a prank. He said it wasn't meant to be a prank at all," she said on Firstline this morning.
"In fact what happened was the reporter called up and asked what would the Maori be wearing and he said that they would be wearing underwear underneath their piupiu, and he did explain that in the past - the very, very far past - that women used to do this bare chested and men wouldn't have worn the underwear.
"He said that was misunderstood to say that the tradition has changed just for this trip, but he says that wasn't the case at all, that wasn't what he was trying to say."
No-one from Ngati Ranana has answered emails in relation to the comments, and Mr Hall has not taken phone calls. His Facebook and LinkedIn profiles have also been taken down since the story was first published on Sunday NZ time.